March 4: A school of celestial salmon leapt joyfully from the horizon, their heavy fins serrating the sky. In cheerful lines from big to small, they flung themselves from the rising sun to the still-dark heavens.
March 4: As one does when whales are near by, Kevin & I climbed into a tiny boat in hopes of a sighting. No gold piece nailed to the mast for us: a glimpse was prize enough. Yes, we saw fluke and back and spray. For me, though, the surprise was the Arch of Los Cabos. As we motored toward it in the marvelous green water, I recognized the very same arch I had chosen from a pile of pictures for my 2020 writer’s Vision Board. Vision made real? I’ll keep writing.
March 5: I am awakened by the Pacific Ocean. It is a museum of enormous sounds. A pile of lumber crashes twenty feet to the ground, with bass drum accents. Lightning explodes. A jet takes off again and again. A kettle drum rumbles toward its great orchestral moment. Even in its lulls, the ocean mimics hurricane winds: hard and relentless. I am two hundred yards away and still the vibrations from waves-pounding-sand reach me. I’ve stepped away to write this, and the silence here is stark.
March 6: I visited the ocean today. It was calm, a gray blue blanket extending to the horizon. The waves approached the sand politely, but I read their history, for I stood on a sand wall created by ocean and sand in more turbulent hours. This is my last day at the Pacific, so I resolved to plant at least my hand in the water. I scrambled down the bank and scampered forward and back, manically, unwilling to wet my sneakers (which would soon lie in my suitcase). At last I planted my hand in the pillowy foam and recovered my perch. I watched as the ocean softened the sand-fall I’d created during my descent. Soon no trace will lie, except the warmth of my hand meeting the warmth of the wave.
March 6: Our airport shuttle took us homeward. As I gazed once more across desert, the tie-dye sky invented by my sunglasses reminded me that I had been somewhere special indeed.
March 7: When I asked for a refill of my iced tea, the smiling waitress brought me a second. When she saw my second nearing empty, she arrived with two more. The four lemon wedges made a whole, and the four servings of caffeine ignited with Jeremiah a conversation about writing, emotion, the universal within the personal, Heidegger’s necessity and contingency, and Godzilla. Eventually, our fluids introduced a new necessity and we left the pancake house at last: our stomachs staunchly full and our brains on fire.
March 8: On this beautiful afternoon, I turned onto the woodland path that snakes between the houses and the creek. Would I see my mother’s ducks? I did see: A dozen families scattered across the tiny playground. A father watching his daughter find her way across the creek. A little girl navigating her bicycle well ahead of her father’s call. Dogs and their happy companions. Minnows and neighbors. And — yes! — the ducks. Spring.
March 9: I met someone today who ends each week by making a Quad Chart. In one square, he lists his accomplishments for the week. In a second square, he identifies questions that had occurred to him. In the third, he lists what he called “risks” (which I took to mean impediments). And in the remaining square, he posited his plans for the upcoming week and the one beyond. Our conversation occurred in a bread-and-butter work context, but I was as charmed as if he had handed me a Red Velvet cupcake. How might I use this Quad Square to guide and motivate me for some of my “passion projects” here at home? How might you?
March 10: Each morning for the past month, I’ve listened — in five minute bits — to a sonorous male voice narrating the latest book by the Franciscan priest Richard Rohr. Today (and most days) he reminds us of the value of contemplative prayer. And today (as he does most days), he emphasizes how God meets us where we are: meditating, walking, running, cycling — whatever quiets us in body, mind and heart. This old joke in particular made me laugh out loud: “It is forbidden to smoke while you are praying! But it is wonderful and meritorious to pray while you are smoking!” Substitute beer for tobacco and I’m in business!
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